Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson, Daniel Kaar

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, ColdFusion, AJAX & REA, iPhone

Adobe Flex: Blog Feed Post

Apple and Emotional Discussions Around Adobe Flash Player

Now let’s talk business, pretending that we understand how it works

The recent announcement of iPad has ignited yet another wave of emotional discussions around the role of Flash Player in the evolution of mankind.  People easily take sides and everyone seems to know what’s right and what’s wrong.  Actually the word ‘’people” is too vague in this context, because vast majority of the population has no idea what Flash Player is, and they don’t have to know!  As long as they go to youtube and it plays videos people are happy and casually say, “Youtube is a great site!”  

On the same note, I have no idea how my car operates. Back in my school days, I’ve learned that some stuff burns inside the engine producing another powerful stuff that make the wheels spin.  Do I need to know more? Absolutely not. I lease cars and change them every three years.  Once a year I visit those 10-min oil change shops, and people open up the hood and do something to my car, which supposedly helps it run longer.



BTW, believe it or not, 80% of the people working in these shops don’t have deep understanding of how the car operates either. They have a better idea than me, but only people who designed the engine of my car know how it works.
The same holds true for Flash Player, which divides the Earth population into four distinct groups. The first group has about  a dozen of people who know how Flash Player really works.

A couple of hundred people belong to the second group. They believe they know how Flash Player works,  and I’m one of them. For example, in the upcoming seminars in Brussels and San Antonio, CA you’ll hear me explaining how Flash Players slices your code and allocates CPU cycles depending on the nature of the program it runs – more for UI rendering and less for the ActionScript Byte Code, or vice versa. I believe I understand how it works and will be happy to share with you my beliefs.

The third group of people consists of millions of software developers who either believe that Flash Player is a proprietary trash that should burn in hell, or those who say there’s no life without Flash Player.  
The fourth group are the people who never knew what the Flash Player was and lived happily ever after.

Now let’s talk business, pretending that we understand how it works.  Let’s enjoy badmouthing big guys: Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft. It’s easy because they are filthy rich corporations that want your hard earned money for their proprietary software that crashes, gives you blue screens, works slow, and has as many bugs as software written by you.

Yes, Apple products look polished. But until you can afford them it’s clear that only stupid people buy them - your netbook running Windows can do the same things for cheap.   Similarly both Hyndai and Mercedes owners consider each other idiots. Among computer literate people there’s a group of fanatics who equally hate both Apple and Microsoft as they want only free and open source software.  They don’t value their time and prefer to spend hours on making things work and reinventing the wheel  than using someone’s proprietary products.  These people are ready to constantly adjust and fix their HTML/JavaScript (do people still use the AJAX word?) Web applications, but will never accept the benefits of a cross-platform proprietary Virtual Machine such as Adobe’s Flash Player.  

Apple wants complete control on all the software that runs on their mobile hardware.  Since they can’t control the Flash Player’s code they don’t want it there.  Actually, Apple doesn’t want any competition to their system software on iPhone and iPad OS. You can use any Web browser as long as its name starts with an “S” and ends with an “i”. They invite developers to create programs for iPhone/iPad, but you can sell them only through iStore and that’s the main reason why they don’t want Flash Player there because  people will immediately start selling their games written for Flash.

On one hand, Apple says that Flash Player uses lots of resources and works slow on iPhone OS.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if one program runs slower than others on the same hardware there’s gotta be a way to improve its performance unless the owner of the hardware doesn’t want it to happen. And Apple is not willing to give Adobe the low-level API to use iPhone’s hardware more efficiently. Today, Apple wants to maintain the image of Flash Player as poorly written program.  

People who’ve been in the industry long enough remember how fifteen years ago Microsoft applied similar technique to kill WordPerfect, the competitor of Word at the time.  Microsoft was the owner of the code base of both THE OS and Word, and they didn’t want other word processors in the vicinities.

So far Adobe can’t find the key to the heart of Apple and Flash Player suffers.

I’d also want to bring your attention to another aspect that hurts Flash Player on the consumer-oriented market of Web applications. I’m talking about search engine optimization (SEO).  If you were a small business, would you consider creating a Web site for your company in Flash as opposed to HTML/Java script? Most of the small business owners wouldn’t want it. Why? Because they want their services to be found on the Web. If I sell vacuum cleaners or run a brothel in Nevada, I want the highest possible visibility on the Web.

Let’s take a concrete example – a Web site of our company that sells consulting services in development of rich enterprise applications with Flex and Java. Our Web site http://www.faratasystems.com runs in compiled ActionScript under Flash Player getting its content from external XML files.

What are the chances that someone who’s looking for Flex consultants on Yahoo! or via Bing search engine will find our Web site? You got it! We have zero chances of being found. What about Google? The chances are pretty much the same.  During the last two years I hear that Adobe gave Google some mysterious headless Flash Player (a.k.a Ichabod) that knows how to index an external content played by Flash Player. Does it work? I have my reservations.

You may say,  “Yakov, if you know all this, why in the world have you created the Web site of your company in Flash?” No worries guys, I’m not that stupid. The thing is that I have big mouth. I blog and  write articles heavily sprinkled with the proper keywords in plain HTML and JavaScript, and it helps.

Let’s do a hands-on experiment. Go to Google and type the following  words: enterprise development flex.  At the time of this writing, the first two entries on the first page refers to a book “Enterprise Development with Flex” that I co-authored with two of my colleagues at Farata Systems. The third and fourth entries will send you to my blogs at insideria.com. The fifth entry is an excerpt from our book published at Adobe Developers Connection site. The next entry will lead you to our book on Amazon.com. 

The entry number seven is from flexblog.faratasystems.com – it’s our Wordpress blog. None of these entries returned by Google was Flash content – all sites were plain HTML. Got the picture?

If you have spare time, check the second, third, fourth page of Google search results, and good luck in finding our nice, clean, and well designed Flash-only faratasystems.com.

Let’s get back to the original question, “What about a small business that sells vacuum cleaners online?” The chances are slim that they will write books and articles about their business hence their chances to be found online, if done in Flash, are close to zero.  Does it mean that using Flash Player for consumer oriented sites is a bad idea? Not at all, but you should play smart. If I’d be developing that vacuum cleaners’ Web site, I’d do it in HTML/JavaScript embedding Flash content in some portions of the Web site.

The picture is absolutely different in the enterprise  world of rich Internet applications. This is where Flash Player and corresponding technologies shine.

When I was developing a front end for a trading application of a foreign exchange company, I didn’t need it to be found by Google. I needed it to look and perform well, and nothing beats the Flash/J2EE combo there.  Take another example – an occasionally connected application for salesmen on the road. Adobe AIR (it embeds Flash Player) is the best tool for this job.

What’s the bottom line? Flash Player is an important part of today’s Web landscape. It’s not perfect, but there are areas where it’s the best if not the only solution. What about HTML 5? If the history of HTML 4 means anything to you, don’t expect HTML 5  to be a standard way of developing Web applications for another several years.  If you need to create an application that looks good and performs well today, go Flash Player 10.1 and above.

As to Apple and their bad behavior in iPhone OS, they won’t last long without Flash Player there. Take a look at this video showing great performance of Flash Player 10.1 on Nexus, the closest iPhone competitor. As soon as more smart mobile devices from other vendors (all of them will support Flash Player) will start competing with iPhone, Apple will surrender.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.